Free phone and browser apps can encourage upright posture in patients and avoid ‘text neck’
No matter how long it has been since we were young children, we probably still remember our mothers admonishing us to stand up straight, stop slouching when you sit, and quit hunching your shoulders.
As annoying as all that nagging may have been when we were 12 years old, our mothers were actually right to nag us to improve our upright posture. Bad posture habits often start in the elementary school years and can follow on through adulthood if not corrected soon enough. Fortunately, technology can now get us to improve our upright posture with the help of smart phone apps and browser extensions, rather than constant admonishments from our mothers.
Bad upright posture causes, symptoms
The most common causes for bad upright posture often involve your work environment.
They can include:
- having your office chair in the wrong position for your height
- having your computer screen too far from your face
- slouching in your chair, sitting at your desk for too long
- bending your neck forward and down looking at your phone for extended periods of time (“tech neck”)
All of these poor posture positions can lead a host of musculoskeletal issues, including back, shoulder and neck pain, balance issues, jaw pain, headaches, and even incontinence. Here are apps to share with patients to encourage proper upright posture outside of the clinic to improve chiropractic adjustments when visiting your clinic:
Simply Align for iOS (Free)
As mentioned, spending an excessive amount of time in a hunched over position, staring down at phones or other mobile devices can lead to poor posture as a result of neck and shoulder pain. The Simply Align phone app will remind you to check your head and neck position if you are not holding your iPhone or iPad at eye level with the device perfectly level.
It can also be set to remind you to stop looking at your device and stretch every 10-20 minutes. While at first this app may seem to remind you of your mother’s constant scolding about your posture, it actually will help your muscle memory retrain itself not to drop your head when looking at your mobile devices.
Limber for Chrome (Free)
If you are looking for just a simple reminder to re-position yourself while on your desk, Limber could be ideal for you. This Chrome browser extension can be used on your desktop, but can also work on your mobile device if you don’t want your desktop or laptop machine cluttered up with pop-up reminders.
Limber includes reminders every 10 minutes to stand up and do a quick set of simple stretches and every 30 minutes to take a break and walk around. You can set it for either or both sets of reminders. Limber is rather basic, but is great if you just need a gentle nudge to remind you to get your circulation moving and fix your bad posture habits at work.
Posture Minder for Chrome: (Free)
Like Limber, Posture Minder is meant as a reminder for a desktop or laptop computer, but is a great mobile app to keep your main computer from having too many pop-ups. It also lets you customize your reminders. You can set the number of minutes between your reminders to check your posture or to get up and walk around.
Posture Minder also comes with a sneaky little feature that you can adjust so that the reminder will only go away if you manually close it out, rather than automatically going away. This can be a great option if you are the type who likes to work on being more disciplined.
While we may no longer have our mothers around to remind us to stop slouching, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take her advice. Instead, try sitting up straight by using one of the new posture phone apps, and encouraging patients to use their phone to encourage upright posture and support their chiropractic adjustments.